Aussie unions thank global unions and crossbenchers for defeating union busting bill

By Tony Burke, Chair Campaign For Trade Union Freedom

Australian trade unionists hailed a “victory for ordinary workers” yesterday following the shock defeat of a Bill which would have allowed applications to deregister a union or sack union officials.

The Ensuring Integrity Bill would have given the green light for bosses and members of the public to take legal action against unions and their officials.

But the Labour and Green parties defeated the Bill in a parliamentary vote following a global campaign by Australian trade unions.

They encouraged sister unions and individuals to write to crossbenchers urging them to reject the union-busting legislation.

Right wing One Nation Party senators Pauline Hanson and Jacqui Lambi voted against the Bill, with right-wing PM Scott Morrison demanding they explain their votes.

He believed that the government had the support of One Nation and government ministers were visibly shocked when the final vote was announced.

Ms Hanson, who controls two votes in the Senate, said her party was ultimately unable to back the Bill because the government did not agree to enough of the party’s amendments.

Industrial Relations Minister Christian Porter said he was “very disappointed” with the vote.

He said the government would seek to reintroduce the Bill at an undisclosed time.

Labour Senate Leader Penny Wong said the government’s attempt to “tear down the trade union movement” failed because the Prime Minister has been focused on defending his energy minister, who is embroiled in a police investigation, instead of talking to the crossbenchers.

The Australian Council of Trade Unions (Actu) declared the defeat a victory for ordinary workers.

“The vote today to defeat the Ensuring Integrity Bill is a victory for all working people in this country,” Actu president Michelle O’Neil said.

“We want to acknowledge and thank the support of the Labour Party, the Greens, Jacqui Lambie and Pauline Hanson’s One Nation.”

Read more here.

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